Use the following advice when browsing the web to significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to cybercrime:
- Use strong unique passwords online. Learn how to create strong passwords and passphrases.
- Only download files and applications from websites that you trust, such as official app stores or legitimate organisations such as your bank.
- Pause and think carefully before clicking on links in emails, messages or on social networking sites. Don’t click on links in messages if you don’t know the sender or if the message is unexpected.
- If you think a link looks suspicious or you can’t tell where it leads to, before you click hover over that link to see the actual web address (usually shown at the bottom of the browser window). If you do not recognise or trust the address, try searching for relevant key terms in a web browser. This helps you find the article, video, or webpage without directly clicking on the suspicious link.
- Shortened URLs are often used in social media, you can expand them to check if they are safe. There are a number of services that create short links - such as goo.gl, bit.ly, tinyurl.com, ow.ly and youtu.be. To check if these links are safe you can use an ‘expand link’ facility to get the original URL. Look for a short URL expander that is recommended by your anti-virus software provider or a reputable software company.
- Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. Leave websites that ask for your personal or banking details in return for money – these are scams. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t agree to friend requests from people you don’t know on social media networks - people are not always who they say they are. Learn more about protecting yourself when using social media.